The Storytown U.S.A. “Do Declare” Coloring Book

By now, I’m sure you’ve enjoyed watching the WMHT documentary “Charles R. Wood: A Storied Life.”  It’s a great piece about the history of the man who created Storytown U.S.A. / The Great Escape, as well as creating Gaslight Village, the HH Ranch, all those great businesses and entertainment spots throughout the Adirondacks.

And since I know people are now getting involved in adult coloring books, I thought I would share this with you.

Back in the 1950’s, author Lula A. Shaver and illustrator Janet W. Brotherton combined their talents for a series of coloring books called the “Do Declare” series.  As the opening titles state, “A Do Declare Book is just what you need // In each there’s a story for you to read // Color the pictures with the greatest of care // And hear Mommy say, I DO DECLARE!”

One of those coloring books tells the story of Mother Goose as she visits the then-new amusement park Storytown U.S.A.  She visits all the buildings and meets all her favorite storybook characters.

I can’t remember when I acquired this coloring book; but after watching the documentary, I knew I had to share this book with you.

So if you feel the urge to print out the pages and sharpen up your colored pencils or your vintage 64-count Crayola box…

Have at it.

Or you can just read along with the book as you see it here.  That’s fine as well.

And if you’re interested in collecting Lula Shaver’s other works, here’s a checklist, as near as complete as I can achieve, of the Lula Shaver “Do Declare” books.

  • Frontier Town (Illustrated by Janet W. Brotherton) 1955, A179055
  • The Gingerbread Castle (Illustrated by Janet W. Brotherton) 1955, A179054
  • An Invitation to Storytown U.S.A., Inc., the never-never land of the Adirondacks (Illustrated by Janet W. Brotherton) 1955, A190046
  • Larry Tours Franconia Notch, New Hampshire (Illustrated by Janet W. Brotherton) 1955, A190047
  • Outside My Window (Iullstrated by Janet W. Brotherton) 1955, A190048
  • Maple Sugaring Time in Vermont (I Do Declare Book)
  • To the Top of Mount Washington by the Way of the Cog Railroad (I Do Declare Book)
  • Trimble Bear (I Do Declare Book)
  • The Molly Stark Trail
  • Larry enjoys Mount Sunapee State Park, New Hampshire
  • Larry Visits the Wildlife Exhibit at Crawford Notch, N.H.
  • A Visit to Cape Cod
  • Little Red Arrow of Lake Minnewaska
  • Enchantment at the Land of Make Believe
  • Calling on Santa at The North Pole
  • Chipper and Chee Chee
  • Humpty Dumpty’s Night in Storyland
  • Santa’s Listening

If I come across any more of these “Do Declare” books in my travels, especially if they pertain to the Adirondacks or New England entertainment locales, I’ll certainly pass them along to you.  Because I’m sure you will enjoy them, too.

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